I'm trying to get Dolby Digital (DD) when playing Skyrim on my PC.

I can successfully get DD to show up on my receiver (Onkyo 5.1) when playing a .MKV in VLC Player (and selecting SPDIF). However, I'm unable to get DD to show when playing Skyrim. I get sounds, but it's only Dolby Pro Logic.

Is there a setting I am missing? I have a ASUS Xonar DG with an optical cable to my Onkyo receiver.

I have a Radeon HD 6950, but I have the optical out set as my default audio device.

  • I'm no expert, but does Skyrim support 5.1 discrete audio? It could be your computer is automatically choosing the highest level output availble for the source audio. – Xantec Dec 11 '11 at 0:05

When you play a movie file, the sound is usually encoded in DD/DTS, so all the card has to do is just pass through the signal to your receiver and the receiver does rest of the work. Most PC games I've played, however, don't support audio out as a DD signal, only as 5.1 discreet channels, and that cannot be delivered on optical connection.
Luckily for you, there is a solution. It's called Dolby Digital Live and is supported by some audio cards, I believe your cards support it as well, what DDL does is take the discreet 5.1 channels, encode them as DD and send them through the SPDIF output. To enable it, go to your Xonar software and on the main tab go to the SPDIF dropdown and choose Dolby Digital Live, this should enable this function.

  • Hi JohnoBoy, thanks for your response. I wasn't aware of Dolby Digital Live! I'm in my Xonar software, but I don't see a DD Live option. I turned on the SPDIF Out, but the only option in the dropdown is PCM. This review of the soundcard said it doesn't do Dolby Digital Live... apcmag.com/high-fidelity-asus-xonar-dg-soundcard-review.htm. Maybe I should have spent a little extra cash and gone for the next level up of XONAR card? I also suppose this means that my MSI motherboard probably won't send DD for Skyrim over it's optical out too? – StoneFX Dec 12 '11 at 17:26
  • So, Skyrim for XBOX360 does DD, but is that just because that version is slightly different and PC games manufacturers assume you're probably going to be using computer speakers? – StoneFX Dec 12 '11 at 17:30
  • My bad, I thought the DG supports DDL, my D1 does support it and I thought I saw somewhere online that the DG supports it as well, but I probably was mistaken. As for your question regarding the x360, I believe the 360 itself has a built in DDL encoder, I know the original Xbox had one of the early DDl chips. – JohnoBoy Dec 12 '11 at 21:48

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